FAQ, Massage, Shiatsu

Tipping and Massage

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Clients often wonder: Do I tip my Massage Therapist and if so how much?

Here’s the clear answer:

If the Massage Therapist works at a Spa, especially a Massage Envy type place then you absolutely must tip them!!!!  Their wages are lower. If it is a Groupon then you must tip them well!!!!

Here’s the less clear answer:

If you are seeing an independent practitioner like myself it can vary.  We can set our own rates and have more control over our overhead. I have some colleagues that set their prices about 15 percent higher than mine, but don’t accept tips at all.

I would say 70 percent of my clients tip me and they tip between 15 and 20 percent.  My clients that tip me usually have the financial means to do so and come in about once a month.

For the clients that don’t tip, the appointment with me is already a financial stretch and the tip would be cost prohibitive. Some clients also don’t tip because they take the view that I am a private business owner and I can set my own rates.

I don’t want to turn anyone away because they can’t tip and it is really important that you come in as often as you like.

I have colleagues that don’t accept tips, but charge a higher hourly rate.  I prefer to keep my rate lower.  As I said, those that can usually do and those that can’t don’t.  I want to leave that up to the client to decide.   It’s like a self-selecting sliding scale. Whether you tip me or not I am grateful for your patronage and will give you a great Massage or Shiatsu.

 

FAQ, Massage

Where to get a cheap Massage?

Great question.   First of all, a Massage from me isn’t “cheap”  I would go on a limb and say it’s a good value.  At $80/hour you are paying the going rate for an experienced Massage Therapist located in a major metro area.  You get 60 plus minutes of my time devoted just to you.  My office is nice and provides an escape from your daily life.  A Massage with me includes Aromatherapy.  It’s also custom tailored.  You also get someone that you can talk to or not talk to.

 

What if you really need a Massage and you don’t have $80.00

 

Look for an intro rate coupon.

Most places offer a generous first time discount.  I do too-(20 percent off)!  The down side is that your therapist will never get to know you or your body because you keep skipping around.  If you are going this route choose a Chiropractor’s office or Independently run Massage Clinic.  They tend to hire more experienced Massage Therapists and you will probably get a decent Massage.

If a Massage therapist is serious they will try to get you to come back for more.  If you are skipping around intermittently for a Massage you probably are as tight as the therapist says that you. Trust me, I know what “average” tight feels like and “haven’t had a Massage in a year” tight feels like.

 

Massage Envy or other Francises

The monthly membership is a good value if you really do commit to getting a Massage once a month.  I think it is around $60/Massage.  Non-Membership Massage is pricy.

A couple of things to keep in mind:  Their hour Massage is only about 45-50 minutes of hands on work.  With an independent practitioner an hour usually means about 55 minutes of hands on work.

Higher Turnover:  Chains do have good people on staff and they also have students just finishing school.  They aren’t too picky with the hiring.  It’s also really hard to set up a regular appointment with someone that you like.  Because the pay isn’t that great and the hours are long with few breaks, the turnover is higher.  Also, you will find more practitioners offering a generic Swedish Massage.  If that is what you need then Massage Envy might be just the place for you.

 

Mall Massage:

These usually have names like Dragon City, Massage Oriental or some other name that alludes to Asia.  The Massage Therapists are for the most part from Asia.  The prices are usually pretty good: sometimes as low as $52/hour including steamy towels.  You can just walk-in and state how many minutes you would like to do.  The rooms are semi-private and Asian relaxation flute pop is guaranteed. These therapists are STRONG and good with their hands.

But, and this is a big but-they don’t speak English.  If your problem just involves pointing, your pain issues aren’t that complicated and intense pressure doesn’t bother you then this can be a great choice.  Hint: I’ve been know to go here now and again-especially Massage Oriental.  In fact,  I appreciate the fact that I can’t communicate because I am a natural blabber mouth and this forces me to be quiet. I’m use to strong pressure and due to getting regular Massage  my neck and shoulder problems are pretty typical.

Do not go here if….. you have a complicated medical condition or know for yourself that you are more sensitive or bruise easily.  If you do, speak up if it is too much pressure.  These employees have good hands-on skill but they just cannot communicate enough to problem solve chronic or more rare problems.  They don’t do a lot of on the front side. Sometimes the draping is a little awkward-I always ask for a female practitioner because of this.

 

Groupon

Do not buy a groupon Massage.  I repeat: Skip the groupon Massage!!!!  I’ve both serviced these appointments and talked with many dissatisfied customers over the years that have used groupon.

Here’s the deal: Groupon pays the therapist next to nothing.  Groupon also requires the business to sell a boat load of these.  What this means is that the business often becomes inundated with a lot of new clients looking for a cheap Massage.  These Massage therapists easily become overworked and injured.  They are not enjoying giving you the cheap Massage.  There’s a special place in hell for you if you do not tip generously a groupon Massage!!!

Tip: With any of these places try to go first thing in the morning while the therapist is fresh.  You do not want to be their seventh Massage of the day.

I have the luxury of pacing my schedule so that I can give everyone my full attention.

Best wishes getting the Massage you want!!!

 

 

 

FAQ, Massage, Musings

Should I Shave my Legs before a Massage?

What! Seriously! You have a question about this!! Have you met my family?!!! I’m a second generation hippie so bring on the leg hair! I only started shaving my own legs again when I turned 35.

Why you should shave your legsshavelegscartoon?

1)You are an avid cyclist and you don’t want drag or road rash.

2)It’s part of who you are and it makes you feel good about yourself.

3)It’s part of your “I’m excited to get a Massage ritual.”

4)You like how the efflaurage feels without the drag of leg hair.

Bad reasons to shave your legs

1)You want to impress me.

I will give you a great Massage with or without leg hair. Sometimes we just need a little more lotion.

If you are self-conscious about body hair and don’t want to shave you can always keep your clothes on and choose Shiats